The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 73/No. 33      August 31, 2009

Chicago-area NOW builds
Nebraska pro-choice action
(front page)
CHICAGO—Responding to the call from the Kansas and Omaha National Organization for Women, the DuPage County NOW in Illinois is organizing pro-choice activists to go to Omaha, Nebraska, to defend a woman’s right to choose abortion.

The rightist antiabortion outfit Operation Rescue has announced plans for a “Keep It Closed” campaign August 28-29 aimed at the abortion clinic of Dr. LeRoy Carhart in Omaha.

“NOW is the time for action!” says a letter sent to organizations and individuals in DuPage, Cook, and other counties near the Chicago metropolitan area. The letter pointed to the killing of Dr. George Tiller, who had been targeted by antiabortion groups in Witchita, Kansas, to underscore that action is needed to counter them. Tiller was shot and killed May 31 by an antiabortion rightist while ushering in his church. Doctor Carhart worked closely with Tiller and says he plans to open a clinic in Kansas.

“The Kansas and Omaha NOW have contacted us asking for our help in the fight to keep one of our most fundamental rights, the right to choose,” the DuPage NOW letter states. “Therefore, DuPage NOW, in collaboration with other organizations, is mobilizing on August 27th 2009, to rally in support of Doctor Carhart’s Nebraska clinic.”

According to Michelle Fadeley, the president of DuPage NOW, abortion rights defenders will be caravanning in cars to Omaha to be part of the two-day effort to defend Doctor Carhart’s clinic against the attempt by Operation Rescue and two other antiabortion groups to shut it down.

At an August 7 Militant Labor Forum titled, “No to Illinois Parental Notification Law! Defend a woman’s right to choose abortion!” Fadeley, along with Khadine Bennett from the ACLU, Soo Ji Min from the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, and Laura Anderson from the Socialist Workers Party spoke on the latest attack on women’s right to choose abortion in Illinois.

The Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 went into effect August 4 in Illinois after a federal court injunction barring its implementation was lifted.

Panelists pointed to the fact that Illinois now becomes the 35th state requiring some sort of parental involvement in the decision to have an abortion. A young woman’s primary reason for not telling a parent is usually because of fears of abuse or eviction.

Fadeley explained how young women used to be able to go to Illinois to get an abortion without a parent’s permission. “All the other surrounding states require some sort of parental involvement… . The right wingers want us to believe that they are defenders of life but they just want to push women’s rights back,” she said.

DuPage NOW organized a protest July 18 to counter the Pro-Life Action League (PLAL) “Face the Truth” tour in Naperville, Illinois.

The PLAL is an antiabortion right-wing group that mobilized hundreds of people to protest the opening of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Aurora, Illinois, in the summer of 2007. At that time pro-choice activists held counter pickets in Aurora to defend women’s right to choose.

At the forum their was a discussion on going to the Omaha action and on the need to have a mobilization to push back the right-wing attacks that have been chipping away at the right to choose since it was won in 1973.  
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